KSM senior volleyball girls ace last home game

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Photo by Landon Ballesteros

Senior Raven Poepoe goes for the kill against Lahainaluna in her final regular season home game on senior night, Oct. 16. The Maui Warriors won in three sets, and the rest of the evening was marked by presentations, speeches and picture-taking.

Ka Leo o Na Koa staff

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

The eight senior members of the Kamehameha Schools Maui varsity girls volleyball team concluded their last home game of the season with a 3-0 win over Lāhainaluna High School on Tuesday evening, Oct. 16,  at Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium.

The eight seniors were Iwalani Kaʻaʻa, Kailee Tabaco, Anuhea Kaiaokamalie, Sheylin Patao, Sienna Davis, Raven Poepoe, Bobbi-Lin Kalama, and Leimana Kāne.

The Warriors pushed through the first two sets very quickly, but the Lunas gave them a fierce battle in the third set.

The Maui Warriors took the first set easily, winning 25-11, and the same is said of the second set, in which Kamehameha had a 13-point lead at one point in the game. They eventually won, 25-15, on a kill by Kane.

The third set looked like it would be much of the same, with the Lunas down by as much as nine points at one time, but the Lunas closed in on the Warriors, eventually bringing the score to a one-point difference before the Warriors sealed the last set, 25-23, and winning all three sets of the evening.

Since it was the seniors’ last home game, the gym was flooded with purple, the color of the senior class. Many of the spectators came dressed in purple, there were two purple balloon pillars, a balloon arch, banners and streamers, along with the eight girls’ pictured in posters strung along the front wall.

After the conclusion of the game, the seniors of the Lāhainaluna girls’ volleyball team were recognized and awarded with medals before KSM’s seniors took the stage with a dance routine, the majority of which was choreographed by Poepoe.

Momentarily, each of the eight girls was awarded a tiara and a personalized sash by their parents, and they took their seats together on their ‘thrones’ for the evening. Speeches by the girls’ parents were read out to the audience, and Head Coach Bala Spencer took the stage to talk about the road he’s taken with this years’ senior class.

“It’s a joy coaching these girls; it’s a privilege,” Coach Bala said. “They’re great assets to the school.”

The girls all reflected on their most prized memories while being on the KSM volleyball team. In the girls’ personal speeches, many of them thanked their longtime supporter, senior Jason Fukushima, team manager and historian, for the many sacrifices and the utmost dedication he has demonstrated in service to the team.

With the reality of the girls’ season rapidly drawing to a close sunk in, the girls let out teary messages of gratitude for their supporters.

“My favorite memory was this memory tonight,” Tabaco said. “It was awesome to play with my seniors and teammates and I will remember this forever because we had so much support and we won, so that was the best thing ever.”

The girls are slated to play one more game against Maui High on Thursday, October 18 at 6 PM at the Maui High gym. After that, the MIL Division 1 play-in game, semifinal, finals, and if necessary, the Division 1 playoff will take place on the 20th, 23rd, 26th, and 27th, respectively.